Source: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
We are only a few weeks away from the playoffs and once again the Baltimore Ravens and their young QB continue to show out, the 49ers make a big statement, and are the Oakland Raiders actually serious about making the playoffs? All that and more with this weeks 5 takeaways from week 12.
1. L-Jax Is MVP, Hands Down
After the demolition of the Rams, Lamar Jackson was in a 3-way race for MVP alongside Christian McCaffrey and Russel Wilson. However, after yet another unbelievable performance, L-Jax has cemented himself as this years MVP. He is on pace to surpass 3,000 passing yards AND 1,000 rushing yards, just give him the crown now!
2. Gore Climbing The All-Time Ranks
It's hard to believe Frank Gore Is still going in 2019, and considering the average shelf life for a running back is so short, Gore’s run has been quite impressive.This past week he passed Barry Sanders for third all-time in rushing yards, and is still contributing towards the Bills success this year.
Gore has managed to stay in the NFL and worked hard for a roster spot while also getting key playing time atop the depth chart. What's impressive is that Gore can still go after Walter Payton for number 2 in the rushing ranks, he'd have to play beyond this season to pass him, but that accomplishment is in sight.
Gore passing Barry Sanders is a big milestone, and the former 2005 draftee is the embodiment of what every running back aspires to be in the NFL.
3. Garrett's Future In Dallas Is In Question
The Cowboys number one ranked offence went against the number one ranked defence New England Patriots and Dallas did nothing. Not surprisingly considering the Patriots defence this season, giving up only 117 points.The Patriots shrunk the field, keeping the Cowboys receivers and Dak in check, although Big Zeke provided some relief he didn’t provide the big runs we're used to seeing.
With the weather causing both offences trouble, Jason Garrett deciding to choose and kick a field late in the 4th quarter, instead of going for it knowing a touchdown was questionable, but understandable. Although, being conservative doesn't help when playing against the Pats. The Cowboys did have the ball back one more time but to no avail the Cowboys were stopped.
Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, was frustrated with his teams effort and expected better. Jason Garrett's job is safe for now, however, he's in his last year of his contract which means these final 5 games might tell whether or not Garrett returns to Big D beyond this season.
4. Raiders Take Step Back
The Oakland Raiders have been one of the more surprising teams this season, and has definitely been exceeding expectations. Currently, the Raiders are fighting for a Wild Card spot which makes their effort against the Jets even more terrible. Only scoring 3 points was their worst offensive output of the season.
The Jets defence stifled Derek Carr and the Raiders offence. Carr had a season low 127 yards passing on 27 attempts. New York poured it on in the third quarter and the Raiders couldn't climb out of the hole. It was the first time Carr didn't throw a touchdown since week 6 against the Bears, meanwhile the Jets Sam Darnold had one this best games of the season.
The Raiders are still in the hunt, but their next opponent is against the AFC West division leading Kansas City Chiefs. It’s not quite a do-or-die yet, but the Raiders season is very much in doubt.
5. Niners Blow Away Packers
Two things that happened in the Packers and Niners Sunday night game: 1) The Niners are the number 1 seed in the NFC. 2) The Packers are not among the top teams in the NFC.
The Packers have exceeded expectations at this point in the season, but against the San Fran the Pack looked lost. The Niners were all over the Aaron Rodgers quarterback for the entire game. While the Patriots are getting a lot of attention for their defence, the Niners D should be getting some love around the league as well, especially since it’s the reason the team has a 10-1 record.
The Packers defence on the other hand allowed another 100 yard running game. It's the third straight game they’ve given up that amount. They also couldn't contain Tight End George Kittle, who had 129 receiving yards after being sideline for almost a month. The Packers are becoming a good team they're just not top tier, yet.